Two cannabis organizations are coalescing to further legalization causes on Capitol Hill.
Lobbying firm New Federalism Fund and business organization American Trade Association of Cannabis and Hemp announced plans to unite their operations to form the Cannabis Trade Federation.
The new coalition’s formation comes as cannabis legalization talk heats up in Washington, D.C. following President Donald Trump’s pledge to Sen. Cory Gardner, R-Colo., to support a federal bill that would protect state-legal marijuana programs.
“We may have entered a historic moment where Congress and the president are poised to act to align our industry with our nation’s federalist ideals,” Neal Levine, chairman of the Denver-based New Federalism Fund and a senior vice president at dispensary chain LivWell Enlightened Health, said in a statement. “It is no secret that the New Federalism Fund has been working collaboratively with Sen. Gardner and his staff to address the federal issues facing our industry.
“In light of the deal that Sen. Gardner made with the president, we simply must marshal considerable resources from throughout the industry to give our allies in Congress the support that they need to pass this historic legislation.”
The Cannabis Trade Federation’s objectives include:
- Maintaining the Rohrabacher-Blumenauer medical marijuana amendment and expanding those provisions to adult-use cannabis markets;
- Maintaining and clarifying the existing Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) guidance;
- Challenging the application of the Internal Revenue Service Tax Code 280E on state-legal marijuana operations;
- Allowing state-legal marijuana businesses to have access to banking services;
- Removing cannabis from the Controlled Substances Act, deferring to the states on cannabis laws and regulations, with reasonable federal oversight.